5-Paragraph Essay: Outline, Topics, & Example

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Overview

A five paragraph essay awaits each student in their academic path. 5-paragraph structure is popular for persuasive, compare and contrast, narrative, and argumentative essays. It is a typical task for middle school, high school, and college students.

You can write such text in less than an hour if you know exactly what to do. The key is thoughtful planning and following a simple structure. We will tell you how to do it.

In this article, our expert team explains how to write a perfect 5 paragraph essay in less than two hours. You will find definitions, structure, format references, and samples below.

Contents

  1. 📍 What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay?
  2. 🔩 5-Paragraph Essay Outline
  3. 📝 5-Paragraph Essay Template
  4. 💡 5-Paragraph Outline Parts Example
  5. 🎓 40 Simple Essay Topics
  6. ️ 5- Paragraph Essay Example
  7. FAQ

📍 What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay?

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A five-paragraph essay is a typical writing assignment in schools and colleges. It consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Usually, it is the basis of learning how to write an essay.

In many cases, a 5-paragraph essay doesn’t require any research. That is why it shouldn’t take long to write it. You would need less than a couple of hours to plan, write, and edit a 500-word essay.

This task aims to help you learn how to structure and present your thoughts. You also master formulating a thesis statement while preparing such a paper.

🔩Five-Paragraph Essay Outline: How to Make

An outline is the foundation of your paper. Here, we will explain how to create an outline and provide some examples:

5-Paragraph Essay Format

  1. Introduction (3-5 sentences). This part provides readers with a general impression of your paper. The introduction catches the audience’s attention and presents background information and a thesis statement. Include these elements in your intro:
    • Hook (1-2 sentences). Engage readers with a provocative question, joke, metaphor, saying, or surprising fact.
    • Introduction of arguments (1-3 sentences). Briefly describe the argumentation line without revealing too much information.
    • Thesis statement (1-2 sentences). Make it the core of your paper. All the body paragraphs rely on a thesis statement.
  2. Body (3 paragraphs, 5-7 sentences each). Each body paragraph focuses on one thought or claim presented in the thesis. The first passage should be the strongest one. Here are the main elements of a body paragraph:
    • Topic sentence. Describe the focus of the section.
    • Argument. Develop the thought you mentioned in your thesis statement.
    • Example. Support the claim you have made in the previous sentence. You can describe your life experience or refer to some credible sources.
    • Concluding sentence. Use the last sentence of a paragraph to switch to the next one.
  3. Conclusion (3-5 sentences). The conclusion mirrors your introduction and summarizes the body paragraphs. You can add your insights or call to action in more profound papers. Here are the components of a concluding paragraph:
    • Reviewed introduction. Remind the readers what the essay began with.
    • Paraphrased thesis statement. Use unique wording and consider changing sentence structure to not repeat yourself.
    • Summary of the arguments. Remind your readers how you’ve developed your thoughts in the paper.
    • Closing sentence. This signals that the essay is finished and your last chance to make an impression. You can leave your readers with a feeling of completeness or uncertainty – it depends on the purpose of your writing.

5-Paragraph Essay Outline: Hamburger Model

Yes, that’s right! A 5 paragraph essay shares many features with a hamburger. Think about it:

  • Two buns that mirror each other, like introduction and conclusion.
  • The main ingredient, meat, is the same as the body of your paper.
  • Additional components that depend on your taste.

And here is our recipe for a perfect essay:

The picture shows a 5 paragraph essay structure in a hamburger model.

📝 5-Paragraph Essay Outline Template

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When you create an outline, you need to describe the content of each paragraph in 2-3 short sentences.

Here is a 5-paragraph essay outline template. Feel free to use it and contact us if you have any questions.

💡5 Paragraph Outline: Parts with Examples

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Now it’s time to observe. We created samples for each essay paragraph. The topic is environmental pollution. Check out the passage below:

5 Paragraph Essay Introduction Example

People contribute to the decline of their living standards every day. There is no doubt you do it too. You buy plastic or paper goods, dispose of them, and drive instead of using public transport. These actions lead to pollution, deforestation, and countless human and animal diseases. People harm the environment and the quality of their lives every day. It happens simultaneously when we burn fuels, cut down the forests, and dispose of too much waste.

5 Paragraph Essay Body Paragraph Example 1

Driving a car might seem a harmless activity, but it is one of the main reasons for air pollution. It results in worse respiratory health and many other illnesses in addition to environmental problems. Traffic air pollution is a common problem in big cities. It leads to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and allergies. Moreover, air contamination is especially harmful to children. Car fumes also contain greenhouse gases that cause climate change. That is why we need to watch how we use cars, drive less, and choose cleaner vehicles.

5 Paragraph Essay Body Paragraph Example 2

Overconsumption is another significant factor causing environmental pollution. Surrounded by numerous advertisements, we tend to buy a lot. We change our phones more often, buy trendy clothes each season, etc. As a result, more than 2 billion tons of waste are generated worldwide every year. Besides a direct environmental impact, there's also damage to human health, especially in developing countries. E-waste materials that constitute a big part of global waste expose toxic substances that are critically harmful to people. The consumption rates should be lowered: consumers should buy only items of necessity, and producers should produce better quality products that will last longer.

5 Paragraph Essay Body Paragraph Example 3

Deforestation might have an even more significant effect on the environment than driving a car and overconsumption. It influences animals, people, plants, and global water cycles. Here are three reasons why forests have to be preserved. First, they provide habitat and food for more than half of the Earth's land-based animals and plants. Second, cutting trees damages the process of absorbing carbon dioxide, which, as a result, goes into the air. Last but not least, forests regulate water cycles and water supply in some regions; people's lives depend on clean water and the biodiversity of forests. Despite all these daily processes, organizations and activists are fighting to preserve forests and ecosystems.

5 Paragraph Essay Conclusion Example

We need to be aware that Earth contamination is harmful to nature and humans. Driving cars and buying the goods we do not need cause environmental pollution because of the fuels used in car engines and the production cycle. Cutting down the forests leads to a lack of air filtration and reinforces air contamination. We choose what kind of future we want to build. That is why we have the power to change the environmental situation by changing our habits.

🎓 5-Paragraph Essay Topics

There are endless topic ideas for a 5-paragraph essay. Below is a list of our favorites. You can use them to practice writing a 5 paragraph essay or any other paper:

  1. What are the features of the college of your dream?
  2. Types and causes of water pollution.
  3. How do you see your future ten years from now?
  4. Definition and types of plagiarism.
  5. Why do people live with pets?
  6. The overcrowding problem in prisons.
  7. The importance of soft skills in the workplace.
  8. Voluntary euthanasia: for and against.
  9. Should mobile phones be allowed at school?
  10. Genetically modified foods: effects on human health.
  11. The food we have to remove from our diets.
  12. How do teachers deal with bullying in classes?
  13. Why is education important for children?
  14. The role of police in crime prevention.
  15. The reasons to be environmentally conscious.
  16. Managing employees with disabilities.
  17. My favorite animal in the wild nature.
  18. Becoming a police officer in the US.
  19. Does money make people happy?
  20. The role of nursing in modern society.
  21. The best studying strategy you have used.
  22. Should college athletes be paid?
  23. How do people choose friends?
  24. Are we too dependent on computers?
  25. What music genre is your favorite?
  26. Career paths in supply chain management.
  27. Describe the main qualities of a successful student.
  28. The European conventions on human rights.
  29. How to avoid conflicts with siblings?
  30. Core competencies of nurse practitioners.
  31. The most important lesson life has taught you.
  32. Good education and its main principles.
  33. What are your current academic goals?
  34. The connection between war and poverty.
  35. Why do we need hobbies and leisure time?
  36. Ethical decision-making in difficult situations.
  37. My favorite American feature film.
  38. Laws regulating civilian gun ownership.
  39. The reasons to be physically active every day.
  40. The problem of childhood obesity.

️ Simple Five-Paragraph Essay Example

Here is a complete paper sample. Read the 5-paragraph essay about dogs below.

Five-Paragraph Essay about Dogs

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened,” Anatole France said. Indeed, the unconditional love of animals makes us better people. Even today, when living with animals has lost its original practical value (pasturing cattle or guarding homes), most families have dogs. According to the findings of the latest studies, furry friends can aid a person’s health and social well-being. Whereas adopting a pet means taking responsibility, living with it makes a person more optimistic, life-loving and stress-resistant.

Adopting a dog makes a person more optimistic. Caring for an animal boosts your social activity. Dogs don’t only fetch you balls and Frisbees; they also can bring you good company, filling your life with pleasant moments and positive emotions. You meet new people at the dog parks, at the vet’s, and in the neighborhood. In their presence, owners feel at ease and easily make new acquaintances. Looking at their cheerful furry friends, people learn to enjoy life like their pets do.

“Communication with a dog has several health benefits and helps its owners resist stress. Owning a pet has proven to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Rubbing against your legs, purring, and sitting on your lap, animals help you relax and forget all your troubles. Due to their sensitivity to smells and body temperatures, animals can detect and help to cure some diseases. For instance, many people believe that a cat laying on a particular part of your body is healing organs by absorbing bad energy. Spending time with your pets can have positive therapeutic effects, decreasing stress and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

“Even though sometimes caring for dogs can be time-consuming, it’s one of the best ways to spend excessive energy. Sure, nobody is happy with all that hair all over the house, broken things, or waking up in the middle of the night only because a pet wants your company. However, owners forget all those trifles, looking into the devoted eyes of their dogs. Moreover, caring for an animal teaches responsibility and compassion. It can be a significant investment of excessive energy.

“Living with a dog can change your life, boost your energy and social activity, and bring you many positive emotions. Pets can cure their owners, detecting potential health problems and preventing them. Some inconveniences caused by caring for a dog, such as early rising and broken things, are nothing compared to humans’ benefits from adopting a pet.

The final step of any paper is its title page. There is no need to create it yourself every time. Use our title page maker to deal with it efficiently.

5-Paragraph Essay: FAQ

How Many Words Should a Five Paragraph Essay Be?

It depends on the instructions you receive. The standard word count is 500-600 words or three pages. However, it can reach up to 1200 words depending on your academic level. Usually, when you need more words, you also need more body paragraphs to prove your thesis.

How to Structure a Five Paragraph Essay?

Planning is the key. Once you know your topic, try to create an outline with a thesis statement. Proceed with the introduction, body, and conclusion. Then describe each of the paragraph’s contents briefly. Edit your essay to remove all the logical errors and inconsistencies when writing.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Five Paragraph Essay?

It can take from 30 minutes to 3 hours of writing. Add a minimum of 15 minutes for planning and 15 minutes for editing. The time you need to complete a paper depends on the complexity of the topic. The research and formatting sources are also important.

How Long Should an Introduction Be for a Five Paragraph Essay?

It should be 10-15% of your paper. Let’s count. If you need to write a 600-word essay, you will need to not more than 90 words for the introduction. In a 1000-word paper, the opening is up to 150 words. You can use the same rule for your conclusion.

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